MANILA – The Department of Justice (DOJ) said prosecutors will decide based on evidence and not speculation the cases against Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr.
Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla also assured that the police operation on Teves’ house in Purok 4, Barangay Poblacion, Basay town on Friday morning was legal.
“There were (two) search warrants issued by the courts so I suppose that all of these were legally carried (out),” Remulla told reporters.
The Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and Special Action Force, together with the 11th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army, reported their discovery of several firearms, ammunition, and a hand grenade.
They had licenses, which need verification.
The Negros Oriental Police Office also announced on Friday that all permits to carry firearms outside of residence in the province have been suspended, with the exemption of the police, military, and other law enforcement agencies performing official duties.
It was in response to the continuing hunt for the suspects in the killing of Governor Roel Degamo and eight others inside his residential compound in Pamplona town on March 4.
Remulla said the criminal complaint against Teves in connection with killings in 2019 would undergo due process.
“I think that a lot of other people are coming out with information about past cases but we have to process them properly. We have to look at the evidence. We have to look at the statements. We will look at them one by one,” he said.
He noted that it is mere speculation for now that the 2019 killings are related to online cockfighting.
Remulla recalled Degamo visiting him while his electoral protest was still pending.
“He was already complaining about the violence in Negros but it was a general statement. There were no specifics,” he said.
Teves has denied that he and his brother, Henry Pryde, whom Degamo unseated, had something to do with the governor’s slay.
Teves has yet to return from his personal trip to the United States, dated Feb. 28 to March 9, based on Travel Clearance IPRS-0223-PT1105 issued by the House of Representatives Office of the Secretary General on Feb. 27. (With a report from Judy Flores Partlow/PNA)